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What a Super Bowl Sunday. Kegs, snappa and flip-cup, with some football sprinkled in there as well. I successfully predicted the Giants win, won a little money and ate some greasy and wonderful food.
I admit some of these extracurricular activities may have blurred what was already a pretty uneventful, yet evenly matched game. It wasn’t exactly poorly played, just a little off. Both defenses showed up in a low scoring 21-17 game, and both offenses were efficient, but unspectacular.
Eli outplayed Brady, and the Pats simply could not make the plays (see: Wes Welker’s dropped pass with four minutes left in the fourth quarter) that the Giants were able to make (see: Mario Manningham’s sideline catch for 38 yards with just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter) in the crucial situations.
New England tight end Rob Gronkowski was clearly hobbled by that high-ankle sprain, playing in a season-low 72.6 percent of offensive snaps. His absence hurt the Pats’ passing game, and Brady’s longest completion of the day was a mere 21-yard pass to Chad Ochocinco early in the third quarter. On the Giants’ side, New York was extremely fortunate to recover two fumbles by Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks, both of which would have given the Pats a legitimate scoring opportunity. Sometimes in these close games, you need a lucky break or a big play to swing the momentum — and the odds — in your favor. And, just like in 2007, the Giants caught the breaks that the Pats — and Welker — could not.
But this was Eli’s win. The man who will no longer only be Peyton’s goofy younger brother is now a two-time Super Bowl MVP. Eli, at only 31 years old, has all but guaranteed himself a spot in the Hall of Fame with the win. He becomes the fifth QB in NFL history with two Super Bowl MVP’s — three of those four (Joe Montana, Bart Starr and Terry Bradshaw) are in the Hall, and the fourth (Tom Brady) will certainly be joining them there.
Eli’s game-winning drive in the fourth quarter on Sunday was really nothing new, either. This season he set an NFL record with 15 fourth-quarter touchdowns in the regular season and led the Giants on six game-winning drives to overcome fourth-quarter deficits.
Looks like he is pretty entrenched among the league’s elite quarterbacks, for now and years to come. All that heat about him saying he was in the same elite class as Brady before the season, and now this — he beats none other than Brady to win a second Super Bowl. Sports are great.